GMU gets $5M gift for Center for the Arts

The Peterson Family Foundation has announced a $5 million gift to George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts — a gift the Virginia school will use to modernize its Center for the Arts, including its popular concert hall.

The Peterson Family Foundation was established in 1997 by Milt Peterson, founder of The Peterson Co.’s, one of the D.C. region’s largest real estate developers, and his wife Carolyn. The latest gift to GMU is one of several the Peterson Family Foundation has made to the school. It was announced by Jon and Carolyn Peterson.

“Our family’s commitment to this project is a testament to our steadfast support of Mason Arts programs from the earliest days of the Center for the Arts right up to present,” Carolyn Peterson said.

The modernization of the concert hall, built in 1990, will improve the venue’s ability to support the artists, both professional and student performers, that draw large audiences each year. It has hosted Grammy, Tony, Emmy and Academy Award-winning artists.

The venue’s 2024-2025 season of performers is available online.

The Peterson Family Foundation gift comes two years after a $10 million gift from philanthropists Barry Dewberry and Arlene Evans, which was announced as part of GMU’s 50th anniversary.

Last month, the Peterson Family Foundation donated $20 million to Inova Health System for expansion of its Falls Church hospital.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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